After a long summer without tournaments, the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club was finally able to host one of its annual events last weekend.
Three other major tournaments were cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the 2020 Kay Wilson Memorial Triple Knockout got the go-ahead to proceed, albeit in a slightly pared down format.
The tournament usually has room for 32 teams, but had to trim that number down this year to 24 teams of two, exclusively from Vancouver Island. Participants were grateful to be able to play, regardless.
“The players were just happy to even have a tournament,” organizer Lynne Cowan said. “I think it may be the only tournament held on the Island this summer. Everyone really enjoyed it.”
Tennis works well under the protocols the club agreed upon with Island Health, especially at the SCLTC facility.
“Physical distancing is not difficult off court because of our extensive grounds, although we did need the shade trees as it was a hot weekend,” Cowan noted. “Despite the kitchen and deck being closed for the season, players either brought lunch or went off site to eat in Cowichan Bay or the Old Farm Market and supported the local eateries. At least we are permitted to have our bar open for a cold one after tough tennis matches all day in the heat.”
Teams played either four or five matches over the course of the weekend. The tournament was won by the team of SCLTC head pro Art Hobbs and his partner, Tiana Hobbs, who went in seeded first. Second place was shared by the duo of Alden Eakins and Pepper Couëlle-Sterling and the team of Simon Cuell and Alejandra Margarita Gutierrez Romero. In fourth place were Mike Nichol and Josee Paris.
SCLTC tournaments that had to be cancelled this year included the 2020 Grass Court Classic, the 133rd Vancouver Island Grass Court Championships, and the 32nd Biondo Juniors.